Media coverage of Blame Game leaves out many basic concepts


David Rothkopf/ The Daily Beast:

Biden is right that it is time to leave Afghanistan

After he spoke, the speaking chiefs came out forcefully and said he did not accept responsibility. But “responsibility stops here” is the ultimate expression of the president’s control over his actions. They said he did not explain how we could be in the situation we are in. But what they really mean is that he didn’t provide the explanation they wanted.


Matthew Iglesias /slow boring:

Biden (and Trump) did the right thing about Afghanistan

The war was long lost – if it could be won

Watching Donald Trump in action over the past five years has given many people an opportunity to appreciate some of the positive qualities in George W. Bush that they may not have seen at the time or may have forgotten during the disintegration of his presidency during his last three years. in the office. But the rapid collapse of the US-backed government in Afghanistan this week and the Taliban’s invasion of Kabul illustrate once again the particularly bad nature of the Bush presidency.

This badness does not stem from his being the worst person to hold the position, nor even from the fact that his ideas are particularly corrupt.

But 9/11, and the public reaction to 9/11 that drove Bush’s approval rating up, ended up giving him an unusually high amount of discretion for a modern president. Obviously, any president would have responded to these attacks with some kind of military force. But the public was open to all kinds of approaches, the international community was open to all kinds of approaches, and America was not seriously scrutinized by any kind of competing powers. There was a lot you could do. And what happened that he chose to do was very bad. And while it took more than a decade after he left office because of the mess he made, I don’t think it makes sense to consider the choices Trump faced during his tenure or Biden that he faced in the past few months without the context of the Bush era.


Written by Margaret/ Axios:

Axios-Ipsos Poll: Most Americans Prefer Mandate

Most Americans support requiring masks in schools and vaccinations to return to the workplace, and oppose states’ efforts to ban such moves, according to the latest batch of vaccines. Axios/Ipsos coronary index.

But but but: The survey finds that the Republican base is disproportionately at odds with the mainstream to the point that it helps explain the difficult situations of many red-state governors.

  • It also showed regional differences, with the Midwest being the most critical of the states.

what are they saying: “That’s why we’re seeing so much conflict,” said Cliff Young, Ipsos’ head of American public affairs.

  • “This data shows that public policy and public health are constantly challenged by our politics today” and that “ultimately, all politics is local.”

Mike Mazar /Twitter:

One argument put forward by critics is that the United States, Brett Stevens claims, had a minimal, comfortable presence that “any American president could have maintained…almost indefinitely—with no prospect of defeating the Taliban but no Any possibility of defeat by them, too.”

“In other words, we’ve come up with a good enough solution for a nation that we can’t afford or lose. We squandered it anyway,” Stephens adds. This is a very simplistic, dangerous and misleading straw man. Several problems with this vision of a permanent world war:

1. There is no voltage limit in this scheme. Nobody. If we agree that Governance + other KPIs were stuck or reversed, this clever ploy ties the United States to war truly forever. What major democracy has maintained such a role (in *fighting *active*) for more than 3 decades?

2. Even with small power levels there are economic costs. Proposed spending for 2021 was $14 billion assuming a significant reduction; If violence fluctuated, it would be easy to see spikes. So with strong domestic needs, we spend $20 billion+ annually on endless war?

3. The “to stay forever” plan assumes that the Taliban would have endured such stalemate forever. They will not. The past few days indicate that they have significant untapped political + military power. If they feel the US was digging in to stay, they will escalate, and they will not give up their cause

4. In fact, perhaps the best guess is that there has never been a dead end to maintain. Mapping the Taliban’s control is difficult, but many indicators show a gradual rise in power. The past days indicate that they have been accumulating more influence than we thought

Helen Branswell/ STATNews:

The fine details: Understanding the new policy that allows additional doses of the Covid vaccine for immunocompromised

But the new policy from US health officials, Announced late last weekThey gathered in a hurry. It addresses some questions but leaves a number unanswered, in some cases because there is no data on which to base the decision.

Some experts believe the new policy may also have created a loophole large enough to allow easier access to a third dose for people who are not immunocompromised and who are trying to find ways to get it.



America’s failure to pay workers time off is undermining the vaccine campaign, according to polls of policy experts

Deficiencies play an under-reported role in vaccine frequency in the country, particularly among low-income populations. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that workers who don’t get paid time off to get the vaccine or deal with potential side effects are less likely to get the vaccine.

About two out of ten employees are not immune They said that if their employer gave them paid time off, they were more likely to get vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s survey of 1,888 adults conducted from June 8 to June 21. Representatives of vaccine clinics said in interviews that the leave issue was one of a handful they usually hear from people who are reluctant to receive the vaccine.


Los Angeles Times:

US announces first water shortage for Colorado River, leading to cuts in western states

US officials on Monday reported the first water shortages from a river serving 40 million people in the West, cutting some of it off Arizona farmers Next year in the midst of a severe drought.

Water levels in the largest reservoir on the Colorado River – Lake Mead – have fallen to record levels. Along its perimeter, a white “bathtub ring” of minerals marks where the high water line used to stand, highlighting the acute water challenges of the region facing a growing population and drought worsened by hot weather and droughts caused by climate change.

States, cities, farmers, and others have diversified their water sources over the years, helping cushion the blow from the coming cuts. Federal officials said Monday’s announcement shows conditions warmed up faster than scientists expected in 2019, when some states in the Colorado River Basin agreed to give up water quotas to maintain levels in Lake Mead.


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